The aim of the course is to provide a deeper understanding of the methodological and underlying philosophical issues that arise in science, and inspire to reflection on such issues within the student’s own area of study. After having taken the course the student should have acquired basic knowledge of the foundational issues in the methodology and philosophy of science, specially as regards the natural and technological sciences.
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Content and learning outcomes
The following is an incomplete list of topics covered in the course.
- Scientific knowledge
- Hypothesis testing
- Observations and measurements
- Statistical reasoning
- Causes and explanations
- Philosophy of social science
- Philosophy of technology
- Risk and risk assessment
- Research ethics
Intended learning outcomes
After having completed the course, the student should, with regards to the theory and methodology of science, both orally as well as in writing, be able to:
- Identify definitions and descriptions of concepts, theories and problem areas, as well as identify the correct application of these concepts and theories.
- Account for concepts, theories and general problem areas, as well as apply concepts and theories to specific cases.
- Critically discuss the definitions and applications of concepts and theories as they applies to specific cases of scientific research.
Lectures and seminars.
Literature and preparations
General requirements for master’s programmes. Proficiency in English corresponding to English B / English 6 in Swedish gymnasium.
To be announced at course start. All material is available through the course platform. The following literature has been used previously:
• Till Grüne-Yanoff “Justified Method Choice - Scientific Methodology for Scientists and Engineers”.
• Articles distributed during the course.
Examination and completion
If the course is discontinued, students may request to be examined during the following two academic years.
- SEM1 - Seminars, 1.5 credits, grading scale: P, F
- TENA - Examination, 3.0 credits, grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F
Based on recommendation from KTH’s coordinator for disabilities, the examiner will decide how to adapt an examination for students with documented disability.
The examiner may apply another examination format when re-examining individual students.
A student may request a home exam, with the maximum grade of E, if two requirements are fulfilled: (1) This is the last remaining exam left before graduation. (2) It is not possible for the student to attend the written exam because the student is, at the point of the request, residing outside of Sweden and will be residing outside of Sweden for at least twelve months following the request. The examiner approves or denies these requests.
Other requirements for final grade
Fulfilled seminar requirements and written exam.
Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination
Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination
- All members of a group are responsible for the group's work.
- In any assessment, every student shall honestly disclose any help received and sources used.
- In an oral assessment, every student shall be able to present and answer questions about the entire assignment and solution.
Further information about the course can be found on the Course web at the link below. Information on the Course web will later be moved to this site.Course web AK2030